The Relations of Midhat Pasha during his Governorship of Syria with Sultan Abdulhamid II and the British Ambassador Layard (November 1878-August 1880) Midhat Paşa’nın Suriye Valiliği Döneminde Sultan II. Abdülhamid ve İngiltere Büyükelçisi Layard ile Olan İlişkileri (Kasım 1878-Ağustos 1880)

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Belleten, vol.86, no.305, pp.251-283, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 305
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.37879/belleten.2022.251
  • Journal Name: Belleten
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Periodicals Index Online, L'Année philologique, American History and Life, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.251-283
  • Keywords: Abdulhamid II, Henry Layard, Midhat Pasha, Syria, Damascus
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This paper focuses on issues related to Midhat Pasha’s governorship of Syria between November 1878 and August 1880. After a brief account of how Ambassador Layard developed interest in Midhat Pasha’s return to the country, his role in the latter’s appointment to the province of Syria is explained in some detail. Midhat Pasha’s policies in Syria, Layard’s efforts to support him and Abdulhamid II’s anxieties about the British relations with Midhat are explained in the following sections based primarily on Ottoman and British archival documents. The impact of judicial reforms of 1879 on Midhat’s relations with the Porte and the Palace is also dealt with. The following sub-sections of the article examine Layard’s visit to Syria in September 1879, impact of his departure from Istanbul in May 1880 on Midhat’s position in the province as well as appearance of anti-Ottoman placards of June and July 1880 in Beirut and Damascus. The fact that Midhat’s opponents such as Cevdet and Mahmud Nedim Pashas became ministers in the cabinet worsened the governor’s relations with the Porte and led to the latter’s repeated resignations in May and June 1880. The final part of the article explains how Midhat Pasha’s governorship in Syria ended.